07/05/2007 11:00PM

'Anna' eyes Va. Oaks


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Horses based at Arlington Park figure to play a key role in the July 21 Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs.

Trainer Frank Kirby said last week that the promising 3-year-old turf filly Ciao is being pointed to that nine-furlong race, and on Friday, Wayne Catalano suggested the same could hold true for Dreaming of Anna. Catalano also mentioned races at Canterbury and Woodbine as slight possibilities for last year's 2-year-old filly champion, but Dreaming of Anna's connections seem more inclined to go to Colonial, where Dreaming of Anna set a course record for 5 1/2 furlongs in the Tippett Stakes last summer.

"Nine furlongs, that could be a little far, but the way she's relaxing right now, she should be okay," Catalano said.

Dreaming of Anna, who finally scored her first 2007 victory in an Arlington overnight turf stakes last month, demonstrated that relaxed demeanor in a powerhouse Polytrack workout Friday morning, breezing seven furlongs in 1:25 under jockey Kerwin John.

"She was doing it like you'd do a two-minute clip," Catalano said.

Dreaming of Anna's brother Lewis Michael had an imperfect June training-wise, but is back on track now, Catalano said, and could make his next start Aug. 11 in the Sea O'Erin, a turf mile at Arlington.

Super Frolic's next race undecided

Super Frolic, a Grade 2 winner with multiple Grade 1 placings, shows an Arlington workout pattern of a layoff horse just about ready to run, but trainer Steve Asmussen said he "didn't know where" Super Frolic would make his first start since a seventh-place finish in the Clark Handicap last November. Super Frolic has posted three six-furlong works, including a bullet 1:12 move Tuesday.

Neither does Asmussen have a specific plan for Possetothemax, who shipped from Arlington to Iowa and impressively won the Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes on Monday. Possetothemax finished third at Keeneland in his career debut before easily winning an Arlington maiden race, and his improving form transferred to dirt at Prairie Meadows. Asmussen said Possetothemax's future will hinge upon the weekend's 2-year-old stakes races at Churchill, after which Asmussen will sort through his juvenile stakes options.

Hobby ends winless streak

Steve Hobby ended what he termed the worst dry spell of his training career by sending out a sharp first-time starter named Queen of India in Friday's first race.

"That helped a hell of a lot," Hobby said. "That's the longest stretch I've ever been on without winning a race - 30-something starts."

Hobby, who typically wins close to 20 percent of his races, had been 1 for 42 at the Arlington meet before Queen of India's win. Queen of India and Jesse Campbell rallied from a distant last-place position at the half-mile pole, and squeezed through a tiny hole on the fence in midstretch to best heavily favored Cute Cakes by 1 1/4 lengths.

"She's trained really well, but I didn't expect her to be so far back early," Hobby said. "I did tell Jesse to keep somebody in front of her because she sometimes gets lost when she works by herself, but I didn't necessarily mean for him to keep the whole field in front of her."

Great Bloom retains spirit

There's no real feature on Arlington's 10-race Sunday card, but race 8 is a competitive $35,000 turf claimer that includes 9-year-old Great Bloom, course record holder over a mile on the Fair Grounds turf course. Even at his advanced age, Great Bloom is still competitive in higher-level turf claimers - and a regular challenge for his handlers.

"He's still two handfuls to deal with on a daily basis," said Lisa Gabriel, wife of trainer Leo Gabriel and Great Bloom's regular morning rider.

* The filly Starry Pursuit, one of the more impressive 2-year-old maiden winners of the meet, has been sold, trainer Ronny Werner said, and transferred from Werner's Arlington string to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's barn at Hollywood Park.